Rural Survival Guide

Rural Survival Guide

Playing Pokémon GO in a rural setting has its challenges. However, there are viable and fun strategies. The following are some tips to make you a rural Pokémon master.

Road Trip

In the spirit of Pokémon GO, well, go places. A couple of hours of hunting in a Pokémon hotspot can equal months of work back home.

  • Before jumping in a car, do some scouting first. Locating a nest within driving distance is optimal. Remember those locations. That Drowzee nest could one day become a Dratini nest in a future migration.
  • The density of Pokémon at your destination is equally important. Your time will be limited. You don't want to be standing around with nothing to do.
  • Talk to the locals. They know the area better than anything an app can tell you.
  • If possible, bringing along a bike, skateboard or rollerblades may be helpful for getting around quickly.
  • An external battery. An hour of hunting can easily drain your smartphone of life.
  • Harvesting Pokéstops for potions, revives and balls is priority number two. Find a dense area of Pokéstops and circle the block. Rinse and repeat. Ten Pokéstops in a 1-2 block radius is optimal because that tenth Pokéstop will give a bonus drop. A little time spent harvesting can sustain you for weeks back home.
Gym Battling

Holding gyms in highly populated areas is fleeting. Attacking gyms is to the rural player's advantage. Armed with a backpack full of potions and revives from that road trip, any gym can be taken down with even mediocre Pokémon. It is very feasible to hold down several gyms before collecting for a big pay day in the shop.

  • In my experience, rural Pokémon GO players are overly territorial about their gyms. Opposing teams will quickly take back gyms if able. Therefore, strategy and timing are important. An ill-timed attack or strategy will only limit the number of gyms you can takeover or maintain.
  • Be persistent. A viable strategy is depleting your opponent(s) of revives and potions. Harvesting items from that one local Pokéstop is taxing and arduous. It isn’t necessarily about who has the best Pokémon.
  • If you have supporting members of your team in the area, the Bubblestrat method for leveling up a gym is highly advantageous. A level ten gym can be very difficult for opposing teams to take back.
  • Rivalries will be born. Rural battling becomes personal. You will begin to recognize the names of local rivals. For me, it is also what makes it fun.
  • Explore the area for remote gyms. They are the golden goose for Pokécoins and stardust. It is possible to hold these remote gyms for weeks due to either lack of foot traffic, cell phone service or players.
  • Rural gyms tend to be dominated by the more common Pokémon. The Gym Attackers Tier List and Gym Defenders Tier List are good guides to follow, but adjust according to your local metagame.
  • Don’t be scared off by that Snorlax or Dragonite either. They tend to have low IVs and subpar moves.

Final Tips
  • Use that rural setting to your advantage. Take the 4-wheeler or other small motorized transportation on a trail/back road to hatch those eggs. It may be your best and only way to get rare Pokémon. Be creative.
  • Purchase more incubators with the Pokécoins that you won from those gym battles.
  • Still take a little time to catch local Pokémon and hit that single Pokéstop to supplement your play. They are still good for experience points and precious stardust.
Quick Links

Pokemon List

IV Calculator

Moves List


Egg Chart

Type Chart

Power Up Costs

Buddy Distances

CP Calculator

Gym Attackers

Gym Defenders

DPS per type